3D Printing

Hi Readers,

I recently explored the new technology(or more so new to me) known  as 3D printing. 3D printing allows one to print an 3D digital object (found online or created through a software) into a 3D physical detailed one. The current leading printer used to complete the printing process is known as the Replicator 2. Because of the size, cost and low level maintenance of the printer, 3D printing is made available for use at home, school and/or at the workplace

After finding about this technology I explored two websites that allows you to create objects for 3D printing named Tinkercad.com and Thingiverse.com. Tinkercad.com is a website that allows an individual to create and design an object that he/she desires to print. At the workplace(the platform used when creating a piece) objects, shapes, letters and numbers are available to be used, manipulated, joined and/or arrange in anyway desired to help form/build the object envisioned in a 3D form. It also allows you to rotate the camera giving you various viewpoints as you build and edit your piece.

Thingiverse.com is site that offers something a little different. It gives it’s members access to over 30,000 “things”(3D objects) that current users created and uploaded. These “things” can be used for inspiration or used as an template to customized and personalized. Unlike Tinkercad.com it doesn’t give it’s users the option to start from scratch. Contrariwise, it give the users to ability to use finish work as foundation to build upon.

After viewing the different “things” and going through the different simulations on the sites, I’ve decided that I will create a 3D object of my own. The 3D object I decided to make is a tablet stand. Although already created and easily purchased at a electronic store, I find interest in designing my own unique/personalized stand. I find a stand needful as I use my tablet. Oftentimes I find it hard to type and try hold my 10 inch tablet at the same time when I’m writing an email or note. There also has been times when my hand got tired as I watch a video on youtube or netflix and at times when I searched the web. Thus, a tablet stand would be very useful for me. Moreover, it can be useful for my future students if I’m in a school that has the funds to provide tablets for its students in the classroom. So I’m excited and am looking forward to the process of creating and designing my own personalized tablet stand. I’ll be sure to post a picture of the finish product.

Thanks for reading, comment below,

KaJePo

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Learning Theory: Constructivism

Hi Readers,

I recently read two articles about cognitive and constructivist learning theories. The theory that resonated with me the most was the constructivist theory. The constructivist theory was developed and has been supported by observations and scientific studies. It states that people construct or form their own knowledge and understanding of the world through and by reflecting on their experiences. It goes on to say that when we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experiences, possibly causing us to change what we believe or discarding the new information as irrelevant or unprofitable. I believe that this theory resonated with me the most because I often find myself reconciling new information weekly as I pursue my degree in math education. In the subject of math it seems each new principal, formula, and/or concept I encounter is built upon a previous concept, thus causing me to activate my prior knowledge for reference and to help guide my thinking. For example (a simple one), when we advanced from adding to multiplication we had to use our past knowledge of adding numbers to find what multiplication meant [(5+5=10) and( 5×3=5+5+5=15)].

  In a constructivist classroom teachers tend to act as a facilitator, where he/she guide students into and through learning activities using his/her expertise to aid students thinking. The teacher (possibly through thoughtfully constructed assessments) is to know or have an understanding of the previous knowledge, understanding, and application /synthesizing abilities that each student possesses. From there they are to develop exercises, assignments, and/or activities that will help the students discover or learn the aim of each lesson. While the students role in the classroom is to participate in the learning activity, to refer to their prior knowledge and to become explorers seeking out knowledge that is imbedded within each activity the teacher has designed.

Teachers and students can both use technology in the classroom to aid them in fulfilling their individual roles in the classroom. For example, in a math class (my content area), as a teacher I would use projectors, smart-boards and/or calculators to give students visuals of graphs that I designed for the students to analyze and derive meaning from. Hopefully through exploring the title, labels and the number units on the graphs, they’ll be able to understand the information the graph is displaying, thus learning the skills needed to read/understand graphs. In addition, another example would be for a student who’s studying biology who has been giving an assignment to understand the growing process of plants or the pregnancy process, to seek out through the internet an animation of how a plant grows or how a fetus grows in a mother’s womb. By watching the animation the student can develop their own theories based on what they saw and then compare it to what accredited scientist have found to be true about either process. Then after reading the expert’s commentary of either process, go back and watch the video again and see if the new information they obtained changed what they see during the second viewing of the video

Furthermore, I look forward to using constructivist concepts in my future classroom. Two of the examples I would use is written above (possibly finding an animation of the law of cosines instead of biological animations). But another example would be by finding unique problems for my class that involves or mix newly presented material with old material that will requires students to think critically, which causes students to not only use the methods known to solve simplistic question but also requires them to use the skills they have to analyze the problem, to determined what’s being asked (the conditions and/or restrictions)and to consider the different ways they may have to change as they attempt to solve the problem. I may make it into a social constructivist activity putting students into groups. I actually have used social constructivist learning methods before. I’m currently a Supplemental Instructor for my college (York College) where I’m in charge to facilitate learning. In my last S.I. session I had 14 students (highest so far), so I decided to split the students up into groups of four to five to work together on their struggles. Moreover, I encouraged them to communicate and discuss the problems they were having and if they weren’t able to come to an understanding of the material to call me. Some students did call me however I didn’t come to them with an answer or a solution but rather with a number of questions that caused them to think and reflect on their prior knowledge. Through my observations I saw that they were then able (through the questions I asked) to formulate (through what they already knew) the correct method to solving the problem.  Thus I think that questioning is a key tool in a constructivist classroom (the article also supports this notion). However, it’s not only a teacher’s tool to promote learning but also tool for students, to help them think about the problems they’re facing. It is my belief that the right questions will help them focus on the right aspect(s) of the problem, “Why or how did this become that?” “What happen during each stage to lead to the change?” All these question and more can lead to focus thinking or even at times lead to needed broader thinking. Overall integrating constructivist theories and practices in the classroom correctly (I believe) will lead to learning that meaningful to students and learning methods that will prepare them to become productive citizens!

Thanks for reading, comment below,

KaJePo

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reflections of Videos: 21st Century Learning & A Vision of K-12 Student of Today

Hi Readers,

After recently watching two videos titled 21st Century Learning and A Vision of K-12 Students Today my perspective on teaching and its methods have shifted some and realigned to what I believe is truly needed in schools today,that being relevance. What I got from the videos or rather the picture that I believe they are trying portray is that when it comes to teaching today teachers need to focus on using methods  that are relevant with current resources(new technology,  knowledge, theories and understanding) and teaching skills that are relevant with the current and expected future skills needed. I feel that they are trying to instill in teachers and in future teachers to use methods that are relevant (such as computers, tablets, cell phones and multimedia programs)that students of today can relate to,  have experience with and that will help prepare them for the future that they will eventually move into. If I could relate their ideas to something it would be to a teacher teaching students how to write or chip on a stone when we now type and write with ink and led, its irreverent! The second video really resonated with me, where students in a spoke about the technology they use and are exposed yet it wasn’t being utilized nor did the some of the teacher capitalize through it use.Moreover that the info the teacher were giving was going over the students head because of its methods.

        21st Century learning                The videos along with the picture i found above also connected with me as with something i recently observed. My niece who recently turned three years old. I recall the many times she asked for my smart phone looked through my various apps found the game she wanted play or played the song she wanted to here and I contrasted that with my mother whose a little over 50 who struggles to do the exact same thing. This observation speaks to me and it says that this is a new generation who are exposed to new things and have acquired or have the ability to acquire new skills that the former generation struggles to obtain at a more advanced age or level of development.

               Furthermore, these videos also helps me to think and it prompts me to prepare myself and to search for ways to integrate my content and curriculum in a way that is relevant, in a way that uses technology and that promotes a higher order of thinking and learning in my students. Now currently in a teaching with technology class I look forward to finding and learning ways to integrate the various programs and software available that I can use to grab my students attention and produce a higher order of thinking and learning( such Understanding, analyzing, applying, synthesizing, and evaluating). The challenges I see facing teachers today is finding ways to integrate the technology and its tools with the content- in the time we have with our students. Also school funding, and finding alternative for students  in low income areas. However, with great effort and a wholehearted honest attempt I think we as teacher can overcome every challenge! Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment.

Yours Truly,

KaJePo

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments